Exploring Scotland's whisky regions has never been easier, here's our handy guide for all the best places to stay while you are doing so

When travelling in search of the best whiskies Scotland has to offer, finding the right place to stay can be just as important as visiting the distilleries themselves, sampling the whisky and enjoying  in the stunning Scottish scenery. With that in mind we teamed up with AirBnB to discover some of the best places to stay in and around the major whisky regions:

Speyside: 

With the largest number of distilleries in any one region, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to places to visit. From the behemoths of Glenfiddich and Glenlivet, to the smaller Glen Keith and Glen Elgin, whisky production is the life blood of this area and with some of the best scenery and fishing spots in Scotland, a trip to Speyside is one you won’t forget.

Urlarmore Bed and Breakfast, Tomintoul 

A charming farmhouse set in the Cairngorms National Park just outside Tomintoul. Full Scottish breakfast is included and packed lunches, afternoon teas and evening meals are available on request.

While you are there: Why not relax in the Urlarmore’s outdoor hot tub after a day exploring whilst enjoying the views? Or maybe you’d prefer to snuggle up with a good book or DVD in front of their wonderful log burning stove?

Cost: £40 per person, Weekly Price – £280 /week

Nearby distilleries: Tomintoul, Glenfarclas

Urlarmore B and B. Picture: Urlarmore

Urlarmore B and B. Picture: Urlarmore

Highland Holiday House, Ardersier

Ard Garraidh is a delightful modern attached cottage set in an idyllic location only 15 minutes from Inverness. Approached via its own private track and situated on a croft farm, it is surrounded by its own garden grounds and enjoys uninterrupted views across open farmland with forests and hills beyond.

While you are there: Take a walk along the beach at Ardersier and keep an eye out for the bottle nosed Dolphins which are regularly spotted close to the shore.

Cost: £80 per night

Nearby distilleries: Benromach, Balblair

Highland Holiday House. Picture: AirBnB

Highland Holiday House. Picture: AirBnB

HIGHLANDS:

Luckily, whisky isn’t just consigned to one small corner of the highlands, in fact some of the most interesting distilleries are to to be found dotted all over the highlands and islands, from as far north as Highland Park on Orkney to the south and Glengoyne, situated on the outskirts of Glasgow.

A Tranquil Rural Scottish Farmhouse, Pitlochry

This stylish 19th-century farmhouse, which has been updated for modern living, is situated just 10 minutes from Blair Atholl and is the perfect place to discover rural Perthsire.

While you are there: Why not visit The House of Bruar known as the ‘Harrods of the North’, which is just five minutes away.

Cost: £45 per night

Nearby distilleries: Blair Atholl, Edradour

A Tranquil Rural Scottish Farmhouse. Picture: AirBnB

A Tranquil Rural Scottish Farmhouse. Picture: AirBnB

On the edge of the Highlands, Comrie

Characterful old cottage, rural but not isolated, surrounded by woods and farmland. Situated less than one mile from the pretty village of Comrie.

While you are there: Visit the ‘Earthquake house’, a very early example of seismographic equipment, used to measure the slight temors felt in Comrie (it being geographical fault-line marking the border between the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland).

Cost: £50 per night, £300 /week

Nearby Distilleries: Glenturret

On the edge of the Highlands. Picture: AirBnB

On the edge of the Highlands. Picture: AirBnB

Dairsie Castle, Cupar

Or perhaps you’re looking to treat yourself with something a bit more luxurious? Why not do so with a stay in the stunning Dairsie Castle, Cupar.

First sited in the 12th Century, Dairsie has been the location of secret Scottish parliaments, military sieges, and safe haven for escapee monarchs (James VI and I in 1583). The castle became a ruin in the 19th Century. In 1992 it was bought and rebuilt by the current owner who worked hard to restore the castle to its original medieval character, with all the comforts of a modern family home.

While you are there:

Cost: £600 per night

Nearby distilleries: Glenkinchie, Kingsbarns

Dairsie Castle. Picture: AirBnB

Dairsie Castle. Picture: AirBnB

ISLAY:

No trip through the whisky regions would be complete without a visit to the enthralling island of Islay. This small island is home to no less than eight distilleries (with two more planned), some of which produce the peatiest whisky available anywhere.

House Port Charlotte, Isle of Islay

Situated in the picturesque village of Port Charlotte. The house is bright, well equipped and comfortable with open fire,  with stunning views over Loch Indaal.

While you are there: Take a walk along the picturesque beach or enjoy a spot of fishing.

Cost: £80 per night

Nearby distilleries: Bruichladdich, Kilchoman

House Port Charlotte. Picture: AirBnB

House Port Charlotte. Picture: AirBnB

Traigh Beag East, Port Ellen

A tranquil house set in a unique location on Traigh Beag (little beach in Gaelic), a small private beach. In an area of the island rarely available for holiday lets, Traigh Beag East has arguably one of the most sought after settings on the whole island.

While you are there: Take in the unobstructed views of the Antrim coast on Ireland, Port Ellen harbour, the photogenic Carraig Fhada Lighthouse and the awe inspiring cliffs of the Oa.

Cost: £80 per night

Nearby distilleries: Bruichladdich, Kilchoman

Traigh Beag East, Port Ellen. Picture: AirBnB

Traigh Beag East, Port Ellen. Picture: AirBnB

Loch Gorm House, Bruichladdich

The wonderful Loch Gorm House is situated on the the beach and offers homely comforts in an amazing setting.

While you are there: Look out for seals and otters as you wander along the beach or take a boat trip to Colinsay and Jura.

Cost: £135 per night

Nearby distilleries: Bruichladdich, Kilchoman

Loch Gorm House. Picture: AirBnB

Loch Gorm House. Picture: AirBnB

 

CAMPBELTOWN:

Campbeltown lies towards the end of the Mull of Kintyre peninsula on the West Coast and was once home to over 30 distilleries – now only with three operating: Glen Scotia, Glengyle, and Springbank. The area also offers some of the beast seafood available anywhere in Scotland.

Picturesque cottage, Kintyre

Perfect for birdwatchers, golfers, surfers, walkers, beachcombers, this lovely little cottage is close to many sandy beaches and is only three miles from he ‘wee toon’ Campbeltown.

While you are there: Visit the Aqualibrium swimming pool and the oldest working cinema in Scotland.

Cost: £50 per night

Nearby distilleries: Springbank, Glen Scotia

Picturesque cottage, Kintyre. Picture: AirBnB

Picturesque cottage, Kintyre. Picture: AirBnB

ISLE OF ARRAN:

Rose Cottage, Isle of Arran

This idyllic 300 year old cottage on Arran is the ideal island getaway. Nestled under a turf roof and oak beams, the modern open plan interior is comfortable and practical.

While you are there: Visit Whiting bay for it’s wonderful shops and cafes, or hire a bike and cycle around the island.

Cost: £69 per night

Nearby distilleries: Isle of Arran

Rose Cottage. Picture: Air BnB

Rose Cottage. Picture: Air BnB

Heather Park crofters cottage, Lamlash,Isle of Arran

Heather Park is a fully renovated typical island crofter’s cottage. Filled with artwork by acclaimed local artists, the cottage is only a short walk down a delightful wooded path from the village’s central yacht harbour and pier.

While you are there: Take a tour around the nearby Arran Brewery or visit Cladach pottery.

Cost: £80 per night

Nearby distilleries: Isle of Arran

Heather Park. Picture: AirBnB

Heather Park. Picture: AirBnB

LOWLANDS:

The Lowland region lies south of an invisible border that stretches from Greenock on the west coast to Dundee in the east. There are currently three major distilleries; Auchentoshan, Bladnoch and Glenkinchie – with two more looking to begin production in Daftmill and Aisla Bay. This region also offers the chance to visit two of Scotland’s biggest cities, Glasgow and Capital Edinburgh.

Spacious room, Edinburgh

Close to Princes Street, this private room offers an excellent place to stay close to the city centre of Edinburgh.

While you are there: Get lost in the wonderful city of Edinburgh, visit the shopping hub of Princes Street or head for the historic Edinburgh Castle.  

Cost: £39 per night

Nearby distilleries: Glenkinchie

Spacious room, Edinburgh. Picture: AirBnB

Spacious room, Edinburgh. Picture: AirBnB

Top rated apartment near Royal Mile, Edinburgh

This apartment is on the top floor of a traditional Victorian tenement building (1890) in the central neighbourhood of Abbeyhill. It has a dramatic view over Edinburgh’s lovely and historic ‘colony’ houses to Arthur’s Seat, the iconic extinct volcano that towers over the city.

While you are there: Take in the sights and sounds of Scotland’s capital, visiting the bustling Princes Street or taking in the rich history of the city’s old town

Cost: £65 per night

Nearby distilleries: Glenkinchie

Apartment near the Royal Mile. Picture: AirBnB

Apartment near the Royal Mile. Picture: AirBnB

Lookin to treat yourself? Why not stay in your own five-star Scottish Castle in the Scottish Borders?

Aikwood Tower, Scottish Borders

This grade A-listed tower is full of authentic medieval castle charm. Upgraded into a sumptuous self-catered home, our five en-suite bedrooms comfortably sleep eleven people.

Cost: £500 per night

Nearby distilleries: Glenkinchie

Aikwood Tower. Picture: AirBnB

Aikwood Tower. Picture: AirBnB

 

For those who are a little bit more adventurous and looking for something more unique and whisky related, why not stay in your very own whisky barrel in Forres.

Priced at a very reasonable £35 per night and situated in the whisky heartland of Speyside, this eccentric venue will compliment your ultimate whisky experience perfectly.

The Whisky Barrel, Forres. Picture: AirBnB

The Whisky Barrel, Forres. Picture: AirBnB

All that’s left to do now is get out there and enjoy the best whisky and hospitality Scotland has to offer.

 

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things whisky-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over six years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink.

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